Please upgrade your browser.

Adding Value as a Transformative Mediator

Adding Value as a Transformative Mediator

How does a transformative mediator add value without intervening?



Full Transcript

Well, of course, the urge to know that you’re doing something, that you’re adding value, and making progress. I have those same urges so I just have indoctrinated myself to see progress as any time that I see people making their own choices about anything including if it’s the choice to say, ‘You know what? I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about how you… about some event from the past that’s really stuck in my craw.’ To me, that’s good news. This person decided they wanted to talk about that. I don’t see that as a problem because it’s not leading us toward a settlement. I have little things that give me a sense of progress, but I’ve had to really adopt the philosophy and see progress differently.


Then I have these tools that I get to use that I do feel like I’m really adding value. To me a really powerful tool that I often get to use if parties want it is just a summary of what they talked about so far. ‘So you two have talked about a variety of things. One thing you’ve talked about is the outcome that you’d like for today. Joe, you said that you’re really hoping that this can be over and that you can have an agreement when you’re done. John, you said that more important even then getting an agreement is a sense of fairness about this whole thing. You also talked about what happened two weeks ago and, Joe, you said it was all a misunderstanding. John, you think it was an intentional insult that Joe did. You know, Boom, everything we covered, now is there something within there that you’d like to focus on or is there something else you’d like to talk about?’ I’m making a great contribution with that I feel like. I am adding clarity to the conversation, reminding them of the choices they have to make about what to talk about, and supporting them in the experience of making choices for themselves.

About the mediator

Dan Simon Profile Pic

As a teacher and practitioner of the transformative approach, Dan helps parties have a constructive conversation about their differences. He received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota School of Law, his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and his B.A., with honors, from the University of California at Berkeley. Although he is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, he prefers to practice mediat... View Mediator